A Brief History of StreetChoir
and the Album
We have been writing, recording and performing under the banner of StreetChoir since its inception in 1999. Our first album was self-produced and called Tomorrow’s Dreams - a collection of songs that both of us had written - and recorded live on ADAT with Joshua Fishburn and Matt Cross. It has the sound of our favorite thing to do during those days: playing music for the late night crowd out on the sidewalks of downtown San Luis Obispo, CA. In those formative days, and all those that came before and have continued since, we always talk about how music is like a room, a home, that you invite others into….we’ve always believed in the power of music that is made with purpose. To ease, wonder with, and yes entertain, containing all of the mystery and hard facts of life.
We recorded a five song EP called Broadkast in 2001 and then went on to record Forgive and Forget with Kevin Prosch as Engineer/Producer in 2003. Kevin has been a great supporter and encourager to StreetChoir’s music since he heard Tomorrow’s Dreams and he has always made it clear that he understands our sound and heartbeat. Forgive and Forget seemed like the breakthrough album we had hoped for. However, as these things go, this was not the case. In fact, it didn’t lead us to any solid connection in the music industry and we struggled to understand where our music should be performed. It wasn’t club music, it wasn’t church music and it didn’t fit any genre as much as we wanted it to.
We were raised in a Christian home and have a history of leading music in churches. But the music we grew up listening to, our parents’ music, was from both worlds and neither purely “secular” music nor purely “Christian” music (and where, after all, is the line between the two?). The Beatles, Phil Keaggy. Led Zeppelin, Keith Green. Simon and Garfunkel, Love Song. Otis Redding, Andre Crouch. There was, and still is, a blend of the two that can be heard in a worship service, on the radio, or in a club. This has been the struggle from the beginning...to walk the line between the two.
We did what we could to connect and find the right setting for our music, all the while fighting our own inner battles regarding who our music should be pointed to. We learned slowly….and painfully, that the right people would not just automatically hear what we heard = our music quickly accepted. We obtained distribution through a new label in Kansas City called ForeRunner Music and performed dozens of times around California between 2003 and 2008. We believed, and still do, that this music is going to lead us somewhere, and that the fruits of our labor will be heard by many.
Three more albums followed: Walk Into This Room (2005), Since We’ve Been Apart (2007) with KP, and HolyDays (2008). The year 2009 saw the release of our sixth album The Innocence with Kevin once again at the helm. The treasure, blood, sweat and tears spent in order to record, perform and invest in new equipment to keep this music alive and growing…. Many changes have occurred along the way: Benjamin is now married twelve years, has two children and has moved from California to Las Vegas, NV via Amarillo, TX and Louisville, KY. Matt has been married for ten years and lives in Amarillo and our newest member, drummer Nathan Prosch, makes his living in Kansas City, MO. We are worlds apart!
Why would we make another StreetChoir album after all the expense and growing pressures of life that pull us everywhere else but toward making music? Two years had gone by since the release of The Innocence and we didn’t exactly need to have anyone pull us aside and say “enough is enough already”. This phrase was in our own heads and it took every ounce of strength within the two of us to think about writing more music for StreetChoir, let alone recording another album. In fact, StreetChoir was practically non-existent at that time, 2009-2011, with no hope in sight for continuing on.
It was at that time that a spark ignited us once again. This time it is about making an album with our brother, Nathan Prosch… a man full of passion and love for music and well aware of the impact that sincere, creative and spiritual music can have. It’s about Benjamin and his family starting over again in Las Vegas. And it is about Matt finding his way in Amarillo. It was also about Mark Bowden, a long time StreetChoir “patron saint” and the boy you see on the front cover of the album, whose picture was torn and put back together again many years later….and so many others who share with us in this crazy thing we call life. Sympathetic Friend is the sound of lives being lived, of all the ups and downs, the joy and the heartache. We hope you hear what we hear…..